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Messages - 29UJohn

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Hastings has been making rings since before Plymouths were made.  You can order a brand new set for about $75.

Hastings Manufacturing
Company, LLC
325 North Hanover Street.
Hastings, Michigan 49058
Phone (269) 945-2491
Fax (269) 945-4667

The same brake pressure switch was used on many cars up through the early 1950s.  Should be able to find one at your local NAPA store.

General Discussion / Re: wood spoke wheels
« on: November 03, 2008, 10:42:51 PM »

The cowl lights and trim on your 29U look great.  Are they original?  Is your car a delux model U?

General Discussion / Re: Where can I find a new pinion seal?
« on: November 03, 2008, 10:36:57 PM »
I also bought one from the Antique auto cellar.  These are new seals.  But be sure and measure the shaft diameter first, as some early 28Q and 29Us had odd sizes, as I found out.  Not a problem for Tom Hannaford though, he can provide them in any of the various sizes.  You may also need to sleeve you old spider shaft (where the seal rides).  Tom can provide those too.


I talked with them a few years back and was told at that time that to rebuild one would be $2995! 

I had one many years ago that had a working accelerator pump, but it has since gummed up and have been unsuccessfull in clearing it out.  I will aggree, it does not seem to make any difference in the cars performance with out it!

Some parst are available for the 28-30 Chevrolets that will work on our Carter Carbs.  I obtained a new brass bowl for $36, bowl nut, and a few other parts to get one in running condition.

I agree a rebuilt Tillotson (or Marvel) is probably the way to go, and use a polished non-working Carter brass bowl type for show.  However, I do have a 28Q Carter Carb on my 29U  now that seems to work satisfactory.  New or rebuilt Tillotson or Marvel carbs are available at reasonable prices.

BTW - Some people do the same thing with the original AC spark plugs - they keep a show set that they put on only at a meet.  The original plugs were AC G-12s, but are hard to find and expensive (The Cherolets use them too).  However, AC G-14s were an authorized alternate (a hotter plug, good for stop and go city traffic), and are easier to come by.  Also, you can get reconditioned G-12 or G-14 plugs for much less.  They look just as good as NOS, and if only used for show, who cares if they are reconditioned.

For a good driving plug, I recommend the modern AC 87.  It is a hotter plug (like the original G-14) which reduces fouling and does very well for the kind of driving these cars usually experience today.  Other acceptable modern driving plugs are the AC 86 (no longer made), Autolite 386, Champion D16.

The 28Q Silver Dome used a 7/8-18 thread AC "A" or "AA" Spark Plug.  The higher compression Red Head Plymouth engines used an AC "Y" plug.  These will work on the Silver dome engine too.  I believe the Club judgeing rules accept any of them.  I am told a good modern plug is the Champion C7.

General Discussion / Re: Hand Cranking your Old Car.
« on: July 05, 2008, 06:30:22 PM »
Good luck!

The only time I use the hand crank is when adjusting the valves - it is very helpfull for that.  I would rather push start the car than risk braking an arm hand cranking it.

For a carb, it may take you a long time to find a working original.  In the meanwhile, you could probably use a Carter BB-1 Universal Updraft carb.  This would be easier to obtain.  This carb is a replacement for the 1932 PB Carter types 4A2 and 4A3, but I beleive it will work on the 28.  (Maybe someone else can comment on this to confirm or not?)

Another option would be to get a rebuilt Tillotson from a Ford Model A parts dealor.  I used one on my 29 for a while until I found an original Carter brass bowl type.  Unfortunately, I no longer have the Tillotson carb.


It is hard to get a good picture of where the oil gage ine is connected to my engine - because the connection is hidden by the Starter. 

On my engine - the best way to descibe the location - there is an oil galley plug just above the oil relief valve.  If you draw an imaginary line from that plug straight back to the rear of the engine bock, the oil gage port is located there - at least it is on my engine.  It is so close to the starter that the oil line curves around the starter before going up and through the firewall.

PS - Note the brake fluid tank - it is different from any other I have seen, but it matches the description in the manual.  Even has a built in dipstick marked at 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full.



I doubt you caused any damage to your car by cleaning and adjusting the oil pressure relief spring.  On a cold start at idle, it should read 35-40 lbs.  As it warms up, your idle oil pressure may drop to as low as 12-15 lbs, but should not be of concern. 

Your oil pump should not be mixing air with teh oil.  The previous owner did the  right thing by plugging the vacume port since it is not being used for the fuel pump vacume.  As for the vacume line - it does not draw much air if it is connected properly to a working vacume fuel pump.  It creates a vacume and should hold that vacume.  If air is introduced into the line in any great quantity, the pump will not draw sufficient oil from the sump. 

As for the releif valve, the problem is, you have no way of knowing if someone else had adjusted the relief valve before you obtained the car (as was the case for my engine).

The relief valve spring should be set to let off excess pressure - above 40 lbs.

However, at some point Plymouth changes where they read the pressure.  On my 29U the gage reading was taken down stream from the pressure relief valve. There is no port on mine at the pump.  When I obtained a pump off a 28Q with a port on the pump (as in yours), I was able to take pressure readings at two points - at the pump and downstream, by adding an extra pressure gage. 

I have noticed that the oil pressure at the pump may read 45lbs, while the gage reading from the downstream port measures about 38 or less.  As the engine warms up on an extended drive, the difference gets greater.  At 40 mph, the pressure at the pump still reads about 40 lbs, but my downstream reading is about 30 lbs (probably because my engine has a worn cam bearing).

These engines are pretty hardy.  A worn engine may run fine on 25-30 lbs of oil pressure hot, and 10 lbs at idle, with no detriment.  Idealy we all want our engines to be "like new", and a completely rebuilt engine should be.  But extreme excess oil pressure is not a good thing.

If I were you, I would plug that oil vacume port,a nd adjust the oil pressure releif spring to about 45 lbs when hot and running about 40 mph.  Obviouisly, this is a trial and erro thing, so make adjustments small - half a turn at a time and test drive hot.

General Discussion / Re: 28 / 29 Interior
« on: June 13, 2008, 10:16:22 PM »
You are very fortunate to have such a good set of door handles.  The pot metal they were made of does not stand the test of time well.  I suspect the driver side handles and windshield crank may have been replaced, as these would experience the most wear.

General Discussion / Re: Any Thoughts.?
« on: June 07, 2008, 10:56:17 PM »

Not sure, but I think your carb may be a Tillotson.  I beleive they were sold as replacement carbs for Ford Model As.  When I purchased my 29U in 73 it had a Tillotson carb on it.

I see it looks like you have an original air filter.  Advise you hand onto that, they are harder to come by than the original Carter brass bowl carbs that came with these cars.

By the way, you are very fortunate to have such good interior handles on your car.  All but one on my car had disintegrated.


General Discussion / Re: 28 / 29 Interior
« on: June 07, 2008, 10:41:03 PM »
Wow.  Looks really nice.

General Discussion / Re: Any Thoughts.?
« on: May 28, 2008, 08:50:58 PM »
Head Torque?  Good question.

There are no official guides for the early Plymouth 4s.  I used to use 55-60 ft-lbs, based on a 36-42 Plymouth Service Manual (I do not have a copy, reference is from Plymouth, the First Decade web site.)  Now I use 60-65 ft-lbs, based on a Head Torgue guide produced by Tom Hannaford of the Antique Auto Cellar.

I scaned the guide, but it is too big to post.  I will email it.

Here is the torque procedure I use, based on Tom's guide:

1) Torque to 1/3 (20 ft lbs)
2) Torque to 2/3 (40 ft lbs)
3) Torque to almost full (55 ft lbs)
4) Torque to 60 ft lbs
5) Start engine and warm it up, then retorque
6) After first drive, retorque while still hot

See Attached PowerPoint for sequence.

General Discussion / Re: Any Thoughts.?
« on: May 27, 2008, 09:16:26 PM »

If it runs and burns oil - that should be OK for now.  These engines are hardy.  As long as the engine is getting oil, it will probably run OK even if the pistons and rings are the wrong size.

When I first got my 29 (at age 16 in 1973) I put in a quart of oil every 40 miles!  After college I had the bearings re-babbitted and the rear main seal replaced.  After that, I only had to put in a quart every 80-100 miles!  Years later when I rebuilt the motor, I realized that the pistons were .030 over sized - it was stamped right on the piston face, and I missed it!  I had put new rings in myself as a kid - standard size rings!  I also learned that the engine shop had installed the rear main seal improperly.  After I installed new correct oversized rings from Hastings and installed the rear main seal correctly, engine oil consumption dropped dramatically.  I change the oil every 500 miles - and now do not have to add any between oil changes!

Having said all that, as a kid I drove my old car a lot, even though the engine had many problems (that I could not afford to fix) - it still kept running! 

Do not be concerned about the valves not having a Chrysler number on them.  There were several companies that made valves.  I doubt you can find an original Plymouth Chrysler valve for the engine today.

Good luck at the Father's Day car show!


General Discussion / Re: Any Thoughts.?
« on: May 26, 2008, 08:46:28 PM »

Wow - I think you fixed a big problem that could have lead to major engine damage.  I had a similar experience with my engine's relief valve after I had the oil pump rebuilt.  The oil pressure was 40 at idle and 55 at 40 mph.  After a short drive the back pressure on the pump striped the pump drive gear and damaged the cam pump drive gear, which lead to a replacement cam shaft. 

After talking with a knowledgable mechanic (something I should have done more of first!) he explained to me that a good oil pump is capable of putting out 100 psi.  He advised me to set the oil pressure relief valve as follows:  At idle, initally set the relief valve to about 20, then drive it at normal operating speed (~40 mph) and check the oil pressure.  It should be between 35-40, and should not exceed 40 psi.  If it exceeds 40 psi, turn the pressure relief screw counter-clockwise one half turn and reinsert the cotter pin, then repeat the test.

As for your question of what else to do, if I were were you, I would pull the valves (numbering each with masking tape) and take them to a machine shop to have the faces reground.  If they are badly worn, you may be advised to replace them.  Then I would grind (or lap) each one in its valve seat.  (Detailed instructions are in the operators manual, or you can consult a Dykes manual.) If you do not want to do all that, as a minimum you should check each valve face visually to see if the faces are worn badly.

Regarding your concern that excess pressure may be blowing oil past the cylinders, that is not possible on this type engine.  The cylinders are lubricated by a spray that comes from a small hole in the rod bearing.  If the engine were burning excessive oil, then the rings may be suspect.  Did you check the cylinder pressure before you pulled the head?  If so, you might have been able to determine if the rings and or the valves were suspect before you pulled the head.

If your engine is not burning the oil, it may very well be leaking from the rear main seal. (The oil will drip out the weep hole vent under the flywheel cover.)  This is not uncommon with these engines.  Did the previous owners have the rear main seal replaced when they rebuilt it?  Note that originally these used a rope seal.  Rope seals work well if installed properly.  However, it may have been replaced by a "modern" split steel and neoprene seal.  But, unless the block was modified properly, this type seal will not seal properly (which was the case with my engine when I bought my car.)   

As for the carbon you found in the cylinders, these engines will build up carbon deposites rapidly.  I would not be concerned about that.  The operators manual advises owners to pull the heads and clean out the carbon occasionally!

Hope this helps a little.


P.S. It looks like your block is missing a stud.  You can have one made, but I saw a new one on sale on ebay.)

General Discussion / Re: u model brakes binding
« on: May 25, 2008, 10:15:18 AM »
I recommend rebuilding the master cylinder.  You can do it yourself.  A new (not NOS) master cylinder kit is fairly inexpensive. (Buy from a brake parts specialty company.) 

I would also replace the brake shoe return springs.  Over time they become weak.  If the spring does not pull the brake shoes in, the front shoe will grab (when going forward.)  I bought some new from Roberts for $7 each.

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